October Fiction: An Old Man’s Dream (a poem)

by Jane Liu, Age 16, USA

The fiction prompt for October was “disguise.”


An Old Man’s Dream

Puppetry was a lost art, the old man moaned,
As he wiggled the bit of fluttering fabric
In front of an audience of only himself, swollen, aching body with
Broken joints, but a young heart that dreamed of appeasing the
Screams of children not with mindless fluff and television,
But with pieces of old cloth and frayed thread that spoke of
Myths, heroes, and bygone eras, or whispered
Of gods and demons; gifted be the magician who
Had no need of tools, just his
Gnarled fingers that twisted with an acrobat’s dexterity
Into frightening monsters to throw onto
The screen of a simple wall
Whose cracks become lightning and his voice thunder,
But that dream was not to be, for
The man’s children had all left him and his silly fables
For the glamor of a set and the promise of a stage,
For a world that watched them compete,
Claws out and teeth bared into fake smiles
For the flash of a camera and the ink of a tabloid,
All in the pursuit of a little man named Oscar.


Jane writes: “Though I enjoy writing humorous short stories and poems, I’m currently working on a YA novel with darker themes.”


3 comments on “October Fiction: An Old Man’s Dream (a poem)

  1. Sanya Chawla

    The last line made me smile.Nice work!

  2. Lennox

    That last line really makes you think!!!!!

  3. Amy

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G….nothing else to say!

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